30 Apr 2009

Morning Report: local papers

7:01 am on 30 April 2009

Thursday's papers: Waitaki River hydro power opponent to withdraw Environment Court appeal; suspected NZ swine flu cases rise in number; South Island bar and nightclub operator in receivership.

The New Zealand Herald reports Auckland City Mayor John Banks has issued an ultimatum to his chief executive telling him to get to the bottom of new disclosures about the council's footpath contract payments or he will call in the Auditor-General.

The number of people with suspected swine flu in New Zealand has risen to 96.

Blues player Rene Ranger has been charged with assault over an incident in Matakana and is to appear in court on Friday - the same day he has been named for a game against the Hurricanes.

The Dominion Post says scientists are worried swine flu could mutate into a strain resistant to Tamiflu.

Meanwhile, pharmacists have warned they will be on alert for "fakers" when Tamiflu goes on sale over-the-counter on Friday.

The Pharmaceutical Society says its members regularly have to deal with people who "fake" symptoms and will be expected to show a "high level of professional judgment"when dispensing the anti viral drug.

The Press reports a secret centre for assessing, testing and isolating potential victims is said to be operating in Christchurch to prevent the swine flu virus spreading.

CEA Trading, the parent company of some of the South Island's most well-known bars and nightclubs, has been placed in receivership by creditor Commonwealth Bank of Australia. More than 300 bar jobs are in jeopardy.

The Otago Daily Times says one of the major opponents of a new hydro-electricity scheme on the lower Waitaki River has reached an agreement with Meridian Energy and will withdraw its appeal to the Environment Court against the proposed project.

Michael Swann, who was imprisoned for nine and a-half years for defrauding the Otago District Health Board of almost $17 million, has lodged a notice of appeal against the length of his non-parole sentence.